The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) holds a special place in many people’s hearts. Amy Novakovski and Tina Searcy are two of those people who found themselves depending on the NICU at a critical time. Each has a small graduate of NICU who is now about five or six years old.
Gratitude is a powerful motivator and these women channeled theirs into the successful and growing fundraiser, “Bloom: an Evening of Love.” This year’s dinner was hosted by Julie Mintenko of Global News and took place May 13 at the Travelodge Hotel. It’s a gala evening with a lot going for it – Continue reading “Newborns given chance to ‘Bloom’ at NICU”→
“Bloom: An Evening of Love celebrates the exceptional care offered at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Royal University Hospital, and helps ensure that care can continue. The annual event is in its’ sixth year.
“NICU helps the tiniest little warriors that are born,” said Amy Novakovski, co- director for the event along with Tina Searcy. Both women have channeled their NICU experience into the fundraiser. Novakovski says the important work of NICU can be overlooked and it is their desire to draw attention to it and generate support.
The 2017 celebration has notched up the entertainment side of things with the addition of music by Bruin. Mentalist Curtis Strauss is back with some sleight of hand and more. There’s both a silent auction and a live auction, which will be conducted by Tim Palmer and his crew. Julie Mintenko from Global News is hosting the event.
“There’s also some pretty exciting prizes in the works! It will definitely be another year to remember,” said Novakovski.
Guests will have the opportunity to learn about NICU and hear from those who have benefited from its care, including Searcy and Novakovski. “Some people don’t necessarily understand what kind of care is provided at NICU and we’ve found the more we talk about Bloom, the more people are touched by NICU in one way or another.”
Bloom has sold out each year, so it’s a good idea to get tickets early. Early Bird tickets will be available March 1. Those who purchase tickets in the month of March will be entered to win a sparkle ball earring and pendant set from Hillberg & Berk. “We’d love to get as many people as possible to come out and share this evening of love,” said Novakovski.
The evening also remembers that not everyone gets to bring their baby home. “We remember those little warriors that gained their angel wings.”
“Bloom: An Evening of Love” takes place May 13 at the Travelodge in Saskatoon. Cocktails begin at 6:00 p.m., followed by dinner. For tickets, visit picatic.com/bloomNICU17.
Two pint-sized ‘graduates’ of the NICU helped present a $51,000 cheque from ‘Bloom: An Evening of Love’ to the unit on Monday at Royal University Hospital (RUH). Their moms are co-event directors for ‘Bloom’ and were pleased to hand over the results of the fund raising efforts.
“We’re absolutely thrilled,” said Amy Novakovski,founder of Bloom. “We had always hoped to hit the $50,000 mark and to hit it in our fifth year is phenomenal. It’s very, very exciting.”
Novakovski launched Bloom after her son, Dutch, needed the care of NICU. “They gave me my baby boy. And now he’s doing wonderful.” Bloom is her way of giving back.
Co-event director Tina Searcy shares a similar experience. Her daugher Charlie was born two months premature. The emotions attached to Charlie’s perilous 12 days in NICU are still close to the surface for Searcy. She joined Bloom a year after it was launched.
“We exceeded our initial expectations by far,” said Searcy. “Over five years we’ve donated just over $140,000 to NICU in Saskatoon.”
Over 300 guests attended the May fund-raising gala at the Travelodge. The event has sold out each year and sought expanded venues each year. Searcy said sponsorship is key. “We grew in sponsorship from 14 sponsors last year to 27 this year.” Bloom has maintained and added some exciting new corporate sponsorships, and hopes to continue to grow the event.
RUH staff assembled to received the cheque. Adele Riehl, manager of nursing at RUH said the cheque for $51,000 was another great donation. “It’s wonderful, every year it’s more. I was shocked to hear how much they raised this year.”
Riehl said while basic equipment is covered in their budget, there are many enhancement needs for the unit that
are not covered. She said they’ve been working hard in the past couple of weeks, reviewing their equipment needs for the new Children’s Hospital
“We’ve been identifying things that we will be bringing with us and not bringing with us. We’re really going to be conscious about how we spend this money and make sure we get something that we’re going to be bringing with us to the new hospital. This is a huge piece of money so it will be great to have something that we will be able to bring with us, and that we’ll be able to say, ‘this is where we got it from’.”
Novakovski said Bloom may have a couple of ideas for allocating the funds based on what they’ve seen implemented in other NICU’s in Canada. “This year we’ll maybe make a suggestion for a couple of different things we’d like to see our NICU be able to house. Stay tuned.”